It’s logical to think that cats may need their nails clipped, just like humans. However, cats use their nails for many more activities than people: to hunt, to climb trees, even to mark their territory by scratching things. Also, by sharpening claws, they release pheromones to leave trails on their properties (or what they believe to be theirs.) What’s more, cats’ nails are retractable, which means that they can keep them hidden. Therefore, it may be considered inappropriate to trim cats’ nails. But what if your cat doesn’t do all these things, because he’s an indoor cat? Does he still need his claws? Do indoor cats need their nails clipped?
When Do You Need to Trim Your Cat’s Nails?
Most cats can keep their claws in order, especially if they are outdoor cats, and they constantly use their nails. However, there are cases when you can consider clipping your cat’s nails:
Indoor cats don’t have to defend themselves, they don’t hunt, nor should they climb anything; you also certainly don’t want your cat to mark his territory by scratching your furniture. Even if he has his own scratching post, it’s not enough when you compare it to an outdoor cat’s life.
Therefore it may be reasonable to trim his nails, especially since they are normally hidden, so he’s not sharpening them on a daily basis. If your cat keeps scratching everything in your house even with his nails trimmed, you may consider using an educational and repulsive spray to drive his scratches to the scratching post only.
Cats with arthritis don’t move around as much as regular cats, so you can almost be sure that they are not using their nails often enough to keep them in order. What’s more, they may not be fully in control, and they are more likely to hurt themselves with these nails. That’s why it’s better if you trim your cat’s nails for him.
It’s the same as with arthritic cats – elderly cats aren’t active enough to take care of their nails. What’s more, the nails of older cats tend to be overgrown, thick, and brittle, which is dangerous both for the cat and the people around him.
If you have an extraordinarily hairy cat, you will need to check his nails regularly, as you won’t be able to observe them daily.
How to Trim Your Cat’s Nails?
You can start a couple of days before the first trimming by massaging your cat’s paws and pads. It will allow him to familiarize himself with it, and he will be calmer when you start doing it for real. You can also try familiarizing him with the sound of clippers.
First of all, you need to make sure that he’s in a good mood. It’s better to keep your cat well-fed and satisfied if you want to approach him with clips, as food always make cats a little bit sleepy. Choose a quiet room with few distractions (preferably without a window or sit on a chair from which your cat can’t see it.) Sit comfortably.
Tips to Keep Your Cat Stay Calm
If you feel like you’re both ready, take your cat on your lap and wait until he’s comfortable; you will feel his muscles become less tense. Take one of his paws (the most comfortable way to hold it is between a thumb and an index finger) and press gently on the pads.
You should see the claws now, and, using special animals nail clippers, clip off the end of the claw; it’s better to clip off too less than too much, as you may nick the vein. By holding your cat’s paw up to the light, you can see the pinky vain to be absolutely sure you’re not clipping too close to it.
If you’re only starting clipping your cat’s nails, you may do it gradually, one or two nails at a time, to allow your cat to get used to the procedure and the clipper. You can also treat him with his favorite snack as a reward when you’re done. Later, he will associate the whole process with the reward, which will help him stay calm or even enjoy it all.
Remember never to use human clippers. You can buy special animal clippers at any pet shop or in a veterinary clinic.
Why Should You Trim Your Cat’s Nails When It’s Necessary?
If you let your cat’s nails overgrow, they will curve, and it will be impossible for a cat to retract them. They will get stuck in carpets and other uneven or soft surfaces. If the nails are seriously neglected and outgrown. They can grow into the footpad, which is highly dangerous and extremely painful for your cat. Usually, cats need to have their nails trimmed every 10 to 14 days so that you can be sure they are kept in order.
Observe and Ask for Help
The most important thing is to keep an eye on your cat and notice any unwanted or unusual behaviors. Then, if you don’t want to trim his nails yourself for some reason. You can always turn to a professional groomer or a veterinary nurse. Also, your veterinarian can show you the appropriate methodology if you don’t want to experiment. You always have options, so don’t let yourself or your cat be miserable.
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